AMERICAN STATE PAPERS
LEGISLATIVE AND EXECUTIVE
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
SECOND SESSION OF THE NINETEENTH TO THE SECOND SESSION OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CONGRESS,
COMMENCING JANUARY 12, 1827, AND ENDING MARCH 1, 1831.
SELECTED AND EDITED, UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF CONGRESS,
ASBURY DICKENS, Secretary of the Senate,
JOHN W. FORNEY, Clerk of the House of Representatives.
PUBLISHED BY GALE'S & SEATON
EXPLORING EXPEDITION TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN AND SOUTH SEAS.
COMMUNICATED TO THE SENATE FEBRUARY 16, 1829.
Washington, February 16, 1829.
To the Senate of the United States:
In compliance with a resolution of the Senate, of the 5th instant, requesting detailed statements of the expenses incurred, and of those which may be necessary for the expedition proposed for exploring the Pacific ocean and South seas; and also, of the several amounts transferred from the different heads of appropriation for the support of the navy to this object, and the authority by which such transfers have been made, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of the Navy, with documents, from which the Senate will perceive that no such transfer has been made, and which contain the other information desired by the resolution.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
Navy Department, February 15, 1829.
To the President of the United States:
SIR: I have had the honor to receive from you the resolution of the Senate, of the 5th February, 1829, calling for a detailed statement of the expenses incurred in fitting out and preparing an expedition for exploring the Pacific ocean and South seas, together with the additional amounts which will be necessary to cover all the expenses of such an expedition; and also, a detailed statement showing the several amounts transferred from the different heads of appropriation for the support of the navy to this object; and the authority by which such transfers have been made, and respectfully present to you the following report, which contains the information called for, so far as it can be furnished by this Department.
The resolution embraces three objects:
1. The expenses which have been incurred in fitting out and preparing the expedition.
2. The additional amounts which will cover the future expenses of the expedition.
3. The transfers from the different heads of appropriation for the support of the navy for this object, and the authority by which they have been made.
Previous to the date of the resolution, viz: on the 24th of January, 1829, a letter relating to this subject was received from the chairman of the Naval Committee of the Senate, and on the 29th of January an answer was transmitted to him. Copies of these letters, marked A and B, are annexed as a part of this report. They contain a portion of the information called for, and are necessary to explain certain parts of it.
First. Of the expenses incurred.
Paper C, hereto annexed, is a report from the Commissioners of the Navy, of the money expended in the repairs of the Peacock. This report was called for before the letter to the chairman was written, but was not received until the 7th instant. It was impracticable before that day for the Oommissioners to procure the accounts from New York to enable them to answer the call.
By this paper C, the expenses of repairing the Peacock are stated at $64,729.55. Deducting the sum of $4,008 mentioned by the Commissioners, on account of the guns and gun carriages, the actual cost will be $60,721.55. It will also he perceived that the oniy expenditure, in addition to the ordinary repairs of the vessel, has been in making a temporary spar deck. This was designed to add much comfort to accommodations, and has cost $1,943.21, which is the only sum that can be justly charged to expedition.
The resolution of the House of Representatives was passed on the 21st of May last and directed one of our small public vessels "to be sent to the Pacific ocean and South seas, &c." The Peacock was selected for this object, because it came within the description of this resolution, and was better fitted for that service than any other vessel in the navy. The schooners, from their size and construction, were not adapted to it. The surveys could not have been performed in them. The comfort of those sent would have been sacrificed and their lives hazarded if one of them had been selected. The new sloops-of-war are too large, and in other respects unfit; and they would have been more expensive.
At the time of the passage of this resolution of the House, and also of the passage of the appropriation law for the support of the navy for the year 1828, the Peacock lay in ordinary at New York, and was embraced in the estimates for the year, both for repairs and as a vessel in commission for cruising. In the annual report for this Department, dated 1st December, 1827, she was described in the following words: "Will require new sails, and considerable repairs in her hull and standing and running rigging." (Report of Commissioners, A, page 254.) In the estimate and in the approprtation bill there was an item including the repairs, in the following words: "For repairs of vessels in ordinary, and for wear tear of vessels in commission, four hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars."
The repairs of this vessel were thus authorized by Congress, and would have been made without reference to the expedition. When she was selected for it, they were ordered to be completed with all practicable dispatch, that she might be ready at the proper time to enter on the enterprise. The expense of them has been or will be charged to and paid out of the sum of $475,000, before mentioned, as provided by Congress for these and other repairs.
Annexed to the same report of 1st December, 1827, there was an estimate for the vessels in commission, during the year 1828. In this estimate, eight sloops-of-war of the first class, and three sloops-of-war of the second class, are provided for. (Report of Commissioners, B. page 236.) The Peacock was one of the three. It was intended, as soon as her repairs would permit, to send her on a cruising station. No station was designated at that time, nor any special service pointed out for her. Without the resolution of the House, the Department was authorized, under this law, to prepare and put her in commission;
and would have so done, by ordering to her a full complement of officers, enlisting for her a full crew, and preparing provisions, stores, armament, &c. The only effect of the resolution, so far as the Peacock is concerned, was, to change her destination from one cruise to another; and that, without any additional expense on these points. For this change, the resolution was regarded as very ample authority.
It may he added, that the delay in preparing the expedition, since her repairs were completed, has, thus far, occasioned some saving of expense, which would have been incurred if the seamen had been promptly enlisted, and the vessel sent on other service. It was the purpose of the Department to be cautious in enlisting those who should be fitted, by character and experience, for such an enterprise; and not to create an unnecessary waste of money, by procuring and paying them, until their services should be required.
A part of them only, are yet enlisted; but officers are now employed at the proper places, and the whole will probably be enlisted in a few days.
In ordering the officers, care was taken to select such as were believed to be not only good seamen and navigators, but also distinguished for enterprise and science. The design was to make the expedition, (whatever might be the number of vessels sent) as far as practicable, redound to the honor of our navy. To accomplish this design, it was necessary that the officers should not only be able to navigate the vessel, but to superintend and execute the surveys and examinations of the islands, harbors, &c., as directed by the resolution of the House, and partake in all the scientific researches. It is believed that those selected will be competent to do this, and the expedition will be arranged with that view; so that, by the faithful and skillful discharge of their duties, their reputation, individually and collectively, will be promoted.
These officers have been ordered to hold themselves in readiness for this service, but no additional expense has thereby been created. They receive now, precisely what they received before the orders were given, and what they would have continued to receive, if these orders had not been given.
The preceding remarks, respecting the Peacock and her officers and seamen, with the explanations contained in the letter to the chairman, (B,) exhibit the action of the Department, under the resolution of the House, and explain statements D and E, annexed to this report. They are deemed necessary, to show that there is no omission in those statements, of the expense incurred on these points. If the Peacock, from any cause, should not go on the expedition, she will be ready, under the requirements of law and the ordinary arrangements of the service, to sail on any other cruise, without extra expenditures.
The second item in paper D, is the cost of employing an agent to obtain information of the present state of knowledge respecting the objects to be examined. This information could only be procured from those concerned in the navigation of the Pacific and South seas; (for none others possessed it) and principally from conversations, log books, and journals. The agent was engaged for several weeks; and allowing to him for his time, expenses and labor, what is usually paid to persons examining land offices, and performing other duties of a like kind, which are temporary in their nature, he was entitled to receive $1,116. The service performed by him, required not less intelligence, zeal and industry, than those usually entrusted to agents who receive per diem compensations. His duties were zealously and skillfully discharged; his expenses in procuring assistance, obtaining copies of journals, condensing and arranging the results of his inquiries, were large; and his report embodies a mass of information, valuable to the Department, and indispensable to the prompt and safe conduct of the expedition. The commanding officer, though highly intelligent and well informed, could not have acquired this knowledge in any mode except that which was pursued; and he could not have conducted the expedition as profitably without, as with it. A copy of a part of the report will be given to him before he sails; and by apprising him of the probable, but not well ascertained situation of about two hundred islands and reefs, which he could learn neither from books nor charts, will assist in guiding his movements, and apprise him of many dangers, for which he will be prepared. It will enable him to be more expeditious in his operations and to accomplish much more within a given period. It is believed that the employment of this agent was both economical and prudent, and will shorten the labors of the expedition, and be one means of guarding it against the hazards which it has to encounter.
If it shall be the will of Congress that the expedition shall not sail, the information in this report ought to be published, for the benefit of our seafaring people, who may thereby be aided in avoiding perils in which so great an amount of property and human life has perished.
The compensation to the agent has been taken from the item of appropriation of $5,000, in the law of 19th March, 1828, "for contingent expenses for objects not therein enumerated." The preceding item in that bill enumerates the ordinary, contingent and uncertain expenses, which occur in the naval service. This item has always been understood as intended to provide for those contingencies which do not ordinarily occur; and for those services which it is the duty of the Department to direct, and which are not embraced in the enumeration. Under the resolution of the House, this agency was believed to be peculiarly of this character, and no hesitation was felt in directing payment for it out of that fund.
A copy of the letter of appointment to the agent, Mr. Reynolds, is added, paper F. His account has been settled since the letter to the chairman (B) was written, and amounts to something more than was then estimated.
The next item in paper D is an estimate of the cost of the mathematical and astronomical instruments. It is a mere estimate, which in many cases is a mere guess, and may be below the actual amount. A statement has been called for, from the officer entrusted with the purchase and preparation of them; and when it is received, a list in detail, of the instruments and their prices, shall be laid before you. It is not supposed necessary to detain this report for that purpose.
The appropriation law, before referred to, provided for the purchase of " books, maps, charts, nautical and mathematical instuments, chronometers, models, and drawings," and appropriated for these and other enumerated objects, two hundred and forty thousand dollars, for the year 1828. Purchases for all the vessels in commission, and for the shore stations, are almost daily made of such articles, under the authority of this law. In giving the orders for the purchase of these instruments, the Department regarded the Peacock as a vessel in commission, by express sanction of law; the resolution of the House, as an instruction where it should be employed; and the appropriation for instruments, as authority to provide such as might be required by the service which it had to perform.
Lists of books, charts, and maps have also been prepared, and directions given to find and be ready to purchase them when they should be called for. They are not numerous nor very costly. Most of those which will be necessary on the expedition have before been purchased and placed at the navy yards
for the use of our vessels in commission. It is believed that no expense has yet been incurred on this point.
It may be proper to add, that the instruments, charts, books, and maps, which have been, or wi1l be purchased, are not useful for this expedition alone, but are valuable and necessary for the service generally. They would probably, within a short time, have been purchased for and used in the various operations of the navy, if the expedition had not been contemplated. The public treasury will suffer no loss by them.
The letter to the chairman (B,) states that orders have been given to prepare certain provisions suited to the nature of the service. It is not known that any expense has yet been incurred for them, nor can I furnish a detailed statement of what they will cost. In paper E, there is an estimate for them among the items of expenditures yet to be incurred. They are regarded as a part of the provisions of the vessel on her cruise; and the authority for providing them is found in the fact before stated, that the Peacock is a vessel in commission, which the House of Representatives desired should be sent on a special service, and that they form a necessary part of the provisions of the officers and men on that service.
No other expenditure is recollected. Paper D is, therefore, presented to you as a statement in detial of all the expense which has been incurred; and although much labor has been performed at the Department, and many arrangements made, preparatory to the sailing of the expedition, yet no act has been done, nor has any contract been entered into, which can create an addition to it, if Congress should reverse the decision of the House of Representatives, and prohibit the Department from dispatching the Peacock on this particular service.
On the preceding statement and explanations, I have to report to you, that no expense has been incurred which was not fully authorized by law.
Second. Of the "additional amounts which will be necessary to cover all the expenses of the expedition." Paper E, hereto annexed, is a estimate of the expense of fitting out the Peacock alone. Paper G an estimate of the expense of fitting out two vess[e]ls and a store ship.
These estimates are made in this form, because the expense of preparing and sending out the expedition has heretofore been the subject of inquiry, and that on which the opinion of the Department was expressed to the committee of the House of Representatives, who originally reported the bill, for which object the Department has supposed the appropriation was designed, and for it the sum in the bill is still believed to be sufficient, even in the enlarged form which is recommended in the letter to the chairman (B.)
It is not easy to make an estimate which may be depended on of the final cost of the expedition. One is attempted, however, in papers H, I, K. They show the annual expense of supporting each of the vessels, with the annual cost of the persons, other than naval officers, who may be employed. On the latter point the estimate is believed to be large, as it is also for contingencies.
It will be perceived that the annual expense of supporting the Peacock is not included in papers E and G. It is omitted because that vessel has been, for several years, embraced in the estimates and appropriations as one of the vessels in commission, and employed at sea. It is also in those of the present year, and, unless a change of legislative opinion takes place, will be in those of subsequent years. But, in order that this expense may be added, if it be deemed proper to do so, it is furnished in paper I.
The statements in paper K exhibit the cost of the expedition for two years, if it be regulated by the resolution of the House; and also, what it will cost in the form recommended in the letter to the chairman (B.) It is not perceived how, under correct and economical management and control, the Peacock for two years, with every necessary and proper outfit, both material and personal, and with full allowance for wear and. tear, books, instruments, &c., &c., can cost more than $108,507.21; nor how the three vessels, under like management, and with equal preparation, can exceed $204.344.71. Whether the Peacock, on this service, can render more essential benefits to our commercial and other interests than if employed elsewhere, is a question not embraced by the resolution which you have transmitted. It may be proper, however, to remark, that if the view taken at the Department be correct, the present aspect of our relations and interests, in all places where our vessels in commission are cruising, seems to justify the confident belief that she cannot be more useful anywhere than she would be on this expedition. There has not been a time at which she could be better withdrawn from her ordinary duties, and devoted to an enterprise, the first sñggestion of which is, I believe, to be found in the recommendation in your message to Congress, on the 6th December, 1825, and which has been an object of constant and anxious solicitude, both with the Executive and a large part of the nation, since that period.
For some of the reasons which influenced the Department to recommend an enlargement of the expedition, the expense of which is exhibited in statement three of paper K, I respectfully refer to the annual report of 24th November, 1828, and to the letter of the chairman (B.)
Two vessels seem indispensable to avoid delay and ensure safety and success. The scientific persons mentioned are alike indispensable, if the profitable results are desired in the branches of science to which their attention will be directed. It is no reproach to our naval officers to affirm, that they cannot, in those branches, make the investigations and furnish the lights which would do most credit to the enterprise. They are not profound astronomers, nor are they skilled naturalists. Their employments forbid that they should be either. In their own profession, and in what relates essentially to the discharge of its duties, they neither now have, nor have they ever had, their superiors. And the expedition may be so arranged as to give to those of them who partake in it, all the duties which they can desire, and all that have ever been satisfactorily performed by men of their profession; and, at the same time, to dispose of the scientific corps in such manner that their duties may be discharged, and neither deprive the other of their appropriate credit. The Department is aware of the jealousies on this subject which have existed in expeditions fitted out by other governments, and of the unpleasant consequences — consequences against which this ought to be guarded. The obvious and inevitable effect of assigning to naval officers duties which they are not qualified to perform, has been, and must forever continue to be, a failure in useful results. The uniform history of expeditions in all nations establishes this fact; while too much has been sought for them, all has been lost to them. There is, however, no real difficulty on this subject, nor will any be found in this expedition. The commanding officer will direct and control the movements of all under his command and in his vessel; to him will the reports of their labors be made; and through hini will the results be known to the government and nation. He will have a responsibility sufficiently weighty, and claims on his intelligence which will
prevent his attention to the more minute inquiries on each subject, but which, if ably answered will ensure him all of honor and reputation which can be acquired for his rank and station in such an enterprise. The inferior officers will be directed by him to superintend the surveys, and make the charts and drafts, which are called for by the resolution of the House, and the citizens who are intended to aid in this labor will be subject to his and their direction. The commercial agent, astronomer, and naturalist, will perform their appropriate duties, without interference with those of others, and the commanding officer will be too discreet to interfere injuriously with them. The division of labor will expedite and perfect whatever is done while a complication of duties in any one man would create confusion, and render failure inevitable. In the reports to the government the labors of each, and the merits of each, will be manifested.
Much, almost everything, will depend upon the temper of the persons employed, and on each remaining within his proper sphere; and it is hoped the selections will be such as to ensure concord, and especially that no arrangement of duties will be made, and no orders given, which will tend to lessen the just pride and the deserved honor of the navy, in which every patriot feels a deep and enduring interest.
Third. Of the "amounts transferred from different heads of appropriation, and the authority therefor."
There is but one authority under our laws which can direct a transfer from one appropriation to another, and that is the President of the United States. The Secretary of the Navy has requested from him no transfer on this subject; none has been granted by him, and none has been made. All the expenditures have taken place in the manner explained in this report, under the express sanction of the law, and if error has been committed it has resulted from a misconstruction of its meaning — a misconstruction which has prevailed in the Department for many years.
This report, (with the annexed pepers,) which has been delayed since Monday last, by severe indisposition, is now respectfully submitted to your consideration.
Very respectfully, &c.,
SAMUEL L. SOUTHARD.
Senate Chamber, January 22, 1829.
Sir: By direction of the Naval Committee of the Senate, to whom was referred your report of the 27th November last, and also a bill from the House of Representatives, "to provide for an exploring expedition to the Pacific ocean and South seas," I have to ask for information on the following points, viz:
What expense has been incurred, under the direction of the Navy Department, in preparing the expedition, and what additional amount will be necessary to carry the contemplated object into effect? Under this head the committee desire to have a statement of the several amounts expended on the different objects connected with the contemplated expedition, such as the building and preparation of the ship to be employed; the number, rank, and compensation of the officers and agents who have been, or are intended to be, employed in the expedition, with the names of such as may not belong to the navy, and the duty which they are severally expected to perform.
In deciding on the expediency of the contemplated expedition, it seems to the committee necessary that they should be informed of its precise objects. The committee therefore request the views of the Department relative to this subject. It is desirable to know whether it is in the contemplation of the Navy Department merely to send out surveyers, or other scientific persons, to examine any known "coasts, islands, harbors, shoals, and reefs, in order to ascertain their true situation and description," or whether "the Pacific ocean and South seas" are to be "explored," with a view to the discovery of unknown regions. And, in either case, the committee would be glad to learn the views of the Department as to the particular object to which the expedition is, in the first instance, to be directed, and whether the contemplated objects will probably be attained in the course of a single expedition. Any information it may be in the power the Department to afford on these points, or on any other connected with the subject, will be acceptable.
I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
ROBERT Y. HAYNE, Chairman.
Hon. S. L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy.
Navy Department, January 29, 1829.
Sir: It is probably the simplest mode in which I can answer the inquiries in your letter of the 22d instant, to state —
1. The views of the Department in relation to the exploring expedition.
2. What has been done to prepare for the execution of it.
3. The expense which has been incurred.
4. The expense which will probably be incurred.
5. The time which will be required to accomplish the objects proposed.
These five points, it is believed, will embrace answers to all your inquiries.
First. The "precise object" of the expedition is pointed out by the resolution of the House of Representatives, of 21st May, 1828, and is described in the following words: "To examine the coasts, islands, harbors, shoals and reefs in those seas, and to ascertain their true situation and description." This has always been regarded by the Department as the object to which all its orders and preparations were to be directed, and to which they have been uniformly and steadily directed. The resolution of the House was regarded both as the command which was to be obeyed and the authority which would justify the expenditure of the money which might be found necessary to comply with its terms.
In making the examinations required by the resolution, it will necessarily happen that "coasts, islands," &c., both "known" and "unknown," will fall under observation, and the orders would be to examine both as thoroughly as circumstances would permit.
Our best charts and geographical works are extremely defective as to that region of the globe. Very little is accurately known about it. Very few islands, compared with the whole number which exist there, appear upon the charts, and the locations of the few which do appear are in most instances incorrect.
It is well understood, from the experience of those of our citizens who are engaged in whaling and other pursuits in the Pacific, that there are, probably, in the southern portion of it, not less than two hundred islands, reefs and shoals, which do not appear upon any chart. The situation of these is not known to many, and perhaps with strict accuracy as to latitude and longitude, to none. Hence, all our vessels which sail there sail in constant and imminent peril, and an immense destruction of lives and property is the consequence. To discover the true "situation and description of all these, as well as those better known," is supposed to have been the object of the resolution.
It is not necessary, in answer to an inquiry from the Naval Committee of the Senate, to detail the extent of our commercial interests in the Pacific, the manner in which they are prosecuted, nor their dangers and losses. To protect and promote them, by acquiring correct information, which would render their prosecutions more safe and their extension more easy, would be the effect of executing skillfully the purpose of the resolution.
In executing the resolution, if no further direction should be given by Congress, and no appropriation made, it was the intention of the Department to send out one vessel only, the Peacock, which is one of the smallest sloops-of-war, with proper instructions to make the examinations called for. In this vessel would be sent skillful naval officers, with an astronomer, selected either from among the officers or among the citizens, with proper books and instruments, to fix, by accurate observation, the true situation of the islands, &c., to be examined. The naval officers would be directed to perform, in the best manner in their power, the surveys, drafts, &c., which might be required.
In the instructions, directions would be given to procure information of the present state of our commerce, the difficulties and dangers to which it is subjected, with the best means of protecting and enlarging it and any other information which might fall in their way, and which would be profitable to the nation.
These would necessarily limit the duties to be performed in a single vessel, but in performing these there would be great delay and hazard, and the result would be much less satisfactory than is to be desired. To avoid these necessary and inevitable consequences of sending a single vessel, the Department extended its "views" further, and desiring to make the expedition useful as well as safe to those engaged in it, an anxiety was felt that Congress should, by sufficient appropriation, permit the following plan to be adopted:
That a smaller but well appointed vessel should be added to the Peacock, for the purposes of the examination, and a provision ship to carry provisions, &c., to them, and enable them to prosecute their labors at all times, and without the interruption which would arise from leaving their employments to seek them; that the following persons should be added to the naval officers:
1st. A person to examine and report upon the present state of our commerce, and the means of its extension and improvement in that region.
2d. An astronomer, whose observations should not only fix accurately the positions of all places examined, but who should bring home invaluable results of observations and experiments, in everything connected with his branch of science, and present them in such form as would demand the assent of scientific men everywhere. To him the naval officers would be assistants, and furnish all necessary aid.
3d. A naturalist, with one or two assistants, and one or two good draftsmen and surveyors. These five or six persons would be all that would be required, in addition to the officers of the vessels.
Should it be the will of Congress to pass an appropriation bill for this object, and the expedition should be fitted out in a proper manner, no doubt is entertained that great good would result to our commerce, and the expedition be found to yield, in the end, a most profitable return to the nation for the expenditure made. While seeking this result, it could not fail to be both gratifying and useful to make an extensive addition to our knowledge of the globe we inhabit, and to other useful and valuable branches of science, an addition to our stock of information, acquired almost without cost, and certainly without the slightest neglect of our commercial interests. The instructions would be so guarded as to secure attention, in the first place, to the objects of the resolution, and other matters be made subservient to them.
I do not know whether your inquiry, as to the intention to attempt a "discovery of unknown regions," may be designed to call for an expression of the views of the Department in reference to sending the expedition as far as practicable towards the pole. On that point it may be answered that the examinations both of the known and unknown islands, &c., will be, in part, in high southern latitudes, and the instructions would naturally and necessarily be to find and describe all which exist there, and as far to the south as circumstances would permit them safely and prudently to go. But they would be limited on this point, as well as others, by the object of the resolution itself and would be directed to avoid with care the difficulty which has so often occurred to exploring expeditions, of being closed up in ice, and remaining from that cause stationary for several weeks or months. Enough would be found for them to do in4he milder latitudes during the winter months.
Second. What has been done?
Orders were given to repair the Peacock for the expedition, and these repairs have been made.
Officers have been ordered to hold themselves in readiness, sufficient, in number and skill, for the vessel and the object.
Orders have been given to enlist seamen, of middle age and good character, and an officer has been to Nantucket, and New Bedford, to enlist a few, who are accustomed to whaling and other employments in the Pacific.
Directions have been given to prepare such mathematical and astronomical instruments and books as would be required.
The proper officer has been ordered to prepare such provisions, &c., as will be required, in addition to the ordinary provisions.
An agent has been sent to procure the best and safest information, respecting the object mentioned
in the the resolution, from our fellow-citizens in the east, who have had most experience in the navigation of the Pacific.
An arrangement for a second vessel has been made, in the manner and to the effect described in the annual report to the President.
Correspondence, to a large extent, has been held with scientific men, to procure the best practical guides in selecting persons to be attached to the expedition, and in preparing instructions, should Congress permit two vessels to be sent. Arrangements have been made, on all important points, which have, however, created no expense, and are altogether dependent on the decision of Congress.
No appointments, in the proposed scientific corps, have been made; but the individuals, who will be selected, hold themselves in readiness, should their appointment be permitted.
The Department is ready to organize the whole expedition, the moment the legislative decision is known.
Third. The expense incurred?
The repairs of the Peacock. What these will amount to is not yet ascertained, because the accounts have not been rendered and settled.
Directions have been given to prepare them, and, if they can be procured in time, will be transmitted to the committee. A very small portion of them will however, be chargeable to the expedition.
The Peacock was very much decayed, and could not have been sent to sea without thorough repairs. The expense of these is properly chargeable to the ordinary head of repairs of the navy. Very little has been added to the vessel for the purposes of this expedition, and nothing which will be injurious in her future service in the navy.
The expense of sending the agent to the east, which has not yet been settled, but which will amount, probably, to between $500 and $1,000.
The expense of the mathematical books, instruments, and charts, which will amount, probably, about $2,000; but the greater part of the purchases will be useful and necessary to the navy, in its ordinary operations, an will be charged to contingent, under the head of instruments.
No other expense is, at this moment, recollected.
The orders of the officers have created none; and, should even the decision of the House of Representatives be reversed, and the Peacock itself not sent, whatever else has been done will be useful in the regular operations of the navy.
The number and grade of the officers, who hold themselves in readiness, and will go in the Peacock, are the same as on other services.
Fourth. The expense to be incurred?
1st. If the Peacock only be sent, the expense of that vessel will not be much greater than it would be if employed in any ordinary cruise; the pay of the officers will be received by them, whether engaged in this expedition, on leave of absence, or some other duty. The only additional cost to the government will be in the books and instruments, in some extra provisions, and in paying an astronomer, should one be added. It is not to be doubted, that the cost of supporting a vessel in that ocean, and engaged in such pursuits, may be somewhat greater than if she were cruising on a cheap station near home; but the augmentation will not be large, and cannot be accurately estimated.
If the Peacock be not sent, she will, doubtless, be ordered on some other service, connected with the protection of our commercial and other interests; and, hence, the difference to the government, as to expense, wi11 be very small. I do not send an estimate of the annual support of such a vessel, at sea, because it has heretofore been repeatedly communicated to Congress.
2d. If another small vessel be sent, it will be officered and manned in the usual mode, and the expense, that which is common to vessels of her size.
3d. If the expedition be prepared, in all respects, in conformity to the views and wishes of the Department, there will be added the cost and expense of the provision ship, an estimate of which is not sent, because the price has not been ascertained. The whole expense, of such a vessel, at a safe calculation, will fall short of $15,000. Like the others, she will be under the command of naval officers, who may, at times, be able to aid in the work of the expedition.
4th. The pay of five or six persons, who will be chosen from civil life, and whose be estimated at about $1,600, some being considerably more, and others less, than that sum.
5th. About two or three thousand dollars, for books and instruments for their use.
The sum of $50,000, mentioned in the bill which has passed the House of Representatives, will be sufficient to enable the Department to fit out the expedition in a satisfactory manner; and there will be no further expense incurred, except the support of the vessels in subsequent years. Unless, indeed, it shall be the will of Congress, as I do not doubt that it will, to make some small additions to the pay of those employed, when they return, should their services and sufferings have been severe, and the expedition honorable and profitable, in its results to the nation; an issue confidently anticipated by its friends.
Fifth. The time required to accomplish the object?
This must depend on two circumstances:
1st. The extent of the surveys to be made.
2d. The number of vessels employed.
If it be required to fix the true situation and description of all the coasts, islands, &c. in the Paciflo and South sea, it cannot be accomplished within several years; certainly not within the period during which one expedition ought to be absent. But a very large, and much the most important portion of the Southern Pacific (into which our enterprising fellow-citizens go, in pursuit of commercial objects, and which is least correctly known and laid down on our charts, and therefore most important to be examined,) may be thoroughly explored within two or three years, which is the proper period for an expedition to be absent, and that to which the present one would be limited by the Department. Whether another should be sent out after its return, will depend on the result of this, and may well be left to the future for decision.
If one vessel be sent alone, it will not be able to accomplish all that could be desired. If two be sent, and they are so provided that they may be constantly engaged in the higher latitudes when the season will permit, and in the lower latitudes when driven back from the higher, it is believed that accurate charts may be made of many degrees of latitude, within two years and a half and all scientific
objects connected with the expedition be satisfactorily advanced. It is not to be doubted that the two vessels will perform more than double the amount of actual surveys which could be made by one, independent of all considerations connected with matters of science.
You will perceive that, upon this point of time, no convincing speculation can be presented; it must be in exact proportion to the labor to be performed. The more coasts, islands, &c., there are to examine, the longer will it take to examine them; and as it is believed that these are very numerous, it would be uncandid to pretend that a short period would be sufficient.
But there is a consideration connected with this view, which relieves it from some of its objections: the necessity for the expedition is in exact proportion to the extent of examinations to be made, and to our ignorance of the objects to be examined.
It is believed that two or three years, steadily employed, would accomplish most of the "objects of the resolution."
I am, very respectfully, &c.,
SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.
Hon. Robert Y. Hayne, Chairman of the Naval Committee, Senate.
Report showing the cost of the materials and labor of every description, used in repairing the United States ship Peacock, at the United States Navy yard, New York.
|Whole amount of materials||$52,379 97|
|Whole amount of labor||29,410 25|
| Deduct — |
|Amount of materials and labor in making temporary spar decks, per constructor's estimate, marked B||$1,943 21|
|Amount of articles returned into store, viz:|
|In master's department||$2,165 24|
|In sailmaker's department||2,313 11|
|In boatswain's department||516 76|
|In carpenter's department||168 30|
|In gunner's department||3,814 85|
|Old copper||1,275 60|
|Ten gun carriages||590 00|
|One boat||80 00|
|Materials for spar sails||$3,611 61|
|Labor on spar sails||582 01|
|Amount properly chargeable to repairs of United States ship Peacock.||$64,729 53|
The cost of six medium eighteen-pounder cannon and carriages, now on board, is included in the above report; and she has not been credited for her original armament twenty thirty-two-pounder carronades, and two long twelve-pounders, with carriages, which are in the yard, reserved for her future use. Estimated worth $4,008.
United States Navy Yard, New York, January 31, 1829.
Commodore Isaac Chauncey, Commandant United States Navy Yard and Station, New York.
Estimate of the cost of constructing and completing a temporary spar deck, to connect the poop and forecastle decks of the United States sloop-of-war Peacock, repaired at the United States Navy yard, New York, in 1828, including the cost of all extra work arising from the same.
|Labor || $1,038 75|
|Materials|| 904 46|
| || $1,943 21|
| || =========|
S. HART, N.C.
United States Navy Yard, New York, January 30, 1829.
Expense incurred in fitting out the Peacock for the exploring expedition.
|1. Extra expenditure in the repairs of the Peacock, paper C.||$1,943 21|
|2. Compensation to agent||1,116 00|
|3. Cost of mathematical and astronomical instruments, estimated at||2,000 00|
Estimate of expense which will probably be incurred in fitting out the Peacock.
|1. Amount already incurred,(D)||$5,059 21|
|2. Extra provisions||3,000 00|
|3. Books, maps, &c.||1,000 00|
|4. Contingencies||2,000 00|
Note. – The expense of persons other than naval officers is included in the estimate of annual expense of supporting the vessel.
Navy Department, June 30, 1828.
Sir: Your letter of the 26th is received. It is important to the success of this expedition that the most full and accurate information be procured of the present state of knowledge among our navigating citizens in the eastern States, respecting the portions of the globe to and through which the expedition will sail; and also of the present state of our commerce in them. To both these objects I wish you to direct an earnest attention, and as early as practicable send the results to the Department.
I have stated my views so fully in conversation that it does not seem very necessary here to repeat them, but I will endeavor in a few days to give instructions more in detail, addressed to you at some place through which you pass in the eastern States.
I am, respectfully, &c.
SAMUEL L. SOUTHARD.
J. N. Reynolds, Esq., New York.
Estimate of expense of fitting out two vessels, with a store ship.
|1. Amount of paper, (E)||$11,059 21|
|2. Cost of second ship||10,000 00|
|3. Cost of store ship||15,000 00|
|4. Additional instruments, books, &c.||3,000 00|
|5. Contingencies||3,000 00|
Note – The scientific corps is estimated in the annual expense – the pay not commencing until the vessels are put in commission.
Estimate of the annual expense of supporting the Peacock and two other vessels, while on an exploring expedition.
|1. Expense of the Peacock||$39,724 00|
|2. Expense of second vessel||17,365 15|
|3. Expense of third vessel||11,813 00|
|4. Pay to scientific corps||10,000 00|
|5. Contingencies||10 000 00|
Note. – The estimate for scientific corps and contingencies is probably too large.
Estimate of the expense of the sloop-of-war Peacock for one year on an exploring expedition.
|One master commandant||$1,176 25|
|Five lieutenants||4,825 00|
|One master||662 50|
|One purser||662 50|
|One surgeon||1,327 50|
|One surgeon's mate||1,027 50|
|Ten midshipmen||2,280 00|
|One boatswain||331 25|
|One gunner||331 25|
|One carpenter||321 25|
|Four carpenter's mates||912 50|
|Four quartergunners||864 00|
|One steward||216 00|
|One armorer||216 00|
|One cook||216 00|
|Thirty-five able seamen||5,040 00|
|Thirty ordinary seamen||1,200 00|
|Fifteen stout boys||1,440 00|
|Medicines and hospital stores||1,000 00|
|Wear and tear, and outfits||8,000 00|
|Total amount||$39,724 00|
Estimate of the annual expense of a vessel of three hundred tons, designed to accompany the Peacock on an exploring expedition.
|One lieutenant commanding||$1,176 25|
|Three passed midshipmen, as lieutenants||2,895 00|
|One passed midshipman, as master||662 50|
|One purser||662 50|
|One surgeon's mate||1,027 50|
|Four midshipmen||912 50|
|One steward||216 00|
|One cook||216 00|
|Ten able seamen||1,200 00|
|Six ordinary seamen||720 00|
|Six stout boys||576 00|
|Wear and tear, and outfits||4,000 00|
|Medicines and hospital stores||600 00|
Estimate of the annual expense of a vessel of two hundred tons, to accompany the Peacock on an exploring expedition.
|One lieutenant commanding, or passed midshipman||$2,176.50|
|One surgeon's mate||1,027 50|
|One passed midshipman as master||662 50|
|Three midshipmen||684 00|
|One steward||216 00|
|0ne cook||216 00|
|Eight able seamen||1,152 00|
|Five ordinary seamen||600 00|
|Five boys — stout||480 00|
|Wear and tear, and outfits||3,000 00|
|Medicines and hospital stores||500 00|
CLAIM OF HENRY ECKFORD.
1. Of the cost of fitting out and supporting the Peacock on an exploring expedition.
|1. Amount of paper (E)||$11,059 21|
|2. Expense of support for one year, (paper I)||39,724 00|
|3. Commercial agent and astronomer||4,000 00|
|4. Contingencies||5,000 00|
|First Year||59,983 21|
|5. Expenses of second year, deducting item 1||48,724 00|
|Amount for two years||$108,507 21|
2. Cost of fitting out and supporting two additional vessels for one year.
|1. Amount of paper G, deducting item 1||$31,000 00|
|2. Support for one year, (I)||29,168 75|
|3. Naturalist, draftsman, and two assistants||6,000 00|
|4. Contingencies||5,000 00|
|5. Support for second year, deducting item 1||40,168 75|
3. Expense of the three vessels for two years.
|1. Of the Peacock||$108,507 21|
|2. Of the two other vessels||111,337 50|
|Deduct value of the two vessels, instruments, books, maps, charts, &c. on their return —
say one-half the original price||15,500 00|
|1. The estimate for contingencies and scientific corps, probably too high.|
|2. The expense of the Peacock on this will probably be less than on any other service, as she will be less fully manned than as a ship-of-war.|
|3. As she now is, and probably will continue to be a ship in commission, if her support as a vessel in commission for two years be deducted||$79,448 00|
|It will leave||$124,396 71|
|As the actual call upon the treasury beyond what will be borne if the expedition be not authorized.|
. . . .
The tables have been slightly reformatted and obvious typographical errors have been corrected.
"Exploring Expedition to the Pacific Ocean and South Seas", 16 February 1829, (Report No. 387, from the President to the Senate) American State Papers: Naval Affairs Vol. 3, pp. 308-317.